Out Of My Hands gets lukewarm reception

Morten’s new solo album Out Of My Hands is released in Norway, Germany and seven other European countries today (see release schedule on mortenharket.com).

As expected, the album is getting a lukewarm reception from Norwegian music critics. Here are some samples of the reviews that have been published so far:


Dagbladet (3 out of 6):
“Harket is a formidable pop singer with an ability to single-handedly lift the quality of even the most clichéd, commercial songs. He’s not necessarily dependent on the sophisticated and demanding songs that Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen traditionally have written specifically for his register in a-ha. But unfortunately Out Of My Hands turns out to be a lazy and unsubstantial addition to Harket’s five-album solo discography. Safe and solid. Catchy at times, but unimaginative. And strikingly predictable.”

Dagsavisen (3 out of 6):
“I have to admit that both Pet Shop Boys and Steve Osborne are among my favorites, along with Kent as well. Therefore it’s sad that Out Of My Hands isn’t characterized by good songs and an overall creative energy. (…) In contrast to a-ha, the tempo is quick and almost all the songs have a 1999-feeling. Which means modulated synths and echoed drums, plus a lot of broken chords, designed for radio. Understandably so, as Osborne has made this sound his trademark, and used it successfully a number of times. But in order to create something special, some rougher elements should have been added. Something to contrast the very nice and clean production, and Morten Harket’s constantly high-pitched voice.”

Bergensavisen (3 out of 6):
“Ever since Poetenes Evangelium (1993), the solo projects of the a-ha members have been noticeably different from their main band – with varying degrees of success. But Harket is now leaning much closer to the a-ha sound.  His last solo offering Letter From Egypt (2008) could barely be considered a footnote, and the fact that he’s now chosen a more synth-based sound is understandable. (…) But Out Of My Hands lacks the essence of what a-ha (after the 2000-comeback) were always chasing, but only sporadically succeeded in doing; triggering the three persistent and twisted pop musicians’ goal of remaining vital long after their most successfull period (both creatively and commercially).”

Adresseavisen (3 out of 6):
“Any warmth and sincerity is lacking on Out Of My Hands. (…) Harket’s sensitive vocals are almost drowned out by the synth arrangements. By all means; the arrangements are good and the production is flawless, but that’s exactly what makes it all so boring.”

Drammens Tidende (3 out of 6):
“Out Of My Hands is an unexciting album with a number of mediocre songs, and Harket disappoints by including new versions of two fairly recent hits. As usual, his vocal performance is very good, but he should try a different approach on his next album if he wants to distance himself from a-ha.”

VG (3 out of 6):
“You could say it’s a problem that the best song on this album is an English version of a ten year old Kent-song.”

Gaffa.no (2 out of 6):
“It seemed promising when Pet Shop Boys and Kent joined in on the project, but when everything that has come out of this collaboration is so boring that it could give you a rash, it doesn’t help much. (…) We’ll just have to be relieved that this isn’t a-ha’s name being defiled – it’s not easy to understand what Harket’s intentions are this time.”

“This may be the pop-album I’ve had the highest expectations to, this spring. Which makes for an even bigger disappointment. (…) There is no direction in this product, nor in the production. Some synthpop, some middle of the road-pop. Weak or mediocre songs. In sum; a mediocre environment that doesn’t suit Morten Harket at all. Because he can be world’s greatest, when he just puts his mind to it!”

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